Entries tagged: intellectual property

Rights to “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” Song Pass to Songwriter’s Family

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: December 18th, 2015

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This time of the year, we all hear the popular Christmas song “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” but what we don’t hear is the ownership dispute over it.  Recently, the Second Circuit ruled that the current rights to the song will end December of 2016, and it will pass to the descendants of one […]

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Takedown Notices under the DMCA

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: November 20th, 2015

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A “Takedown Notice” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) exempts certain online service providers (“OSPs”) from liability for copyright infringing acts by its users, provided they meet certain conditions. The definition of an OSP for purposes of the DMCA is quite broad: “a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of […]

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“Happy Birthday to You” Lyrics May not be Copyrighted

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: October 20th, 2015

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Most people sing “Happy Birthday to You” without even thinking it might be protected by copyright.  But since 1988, Warner/Chappell Music has been enforcing its alleged copyright in the song and has collected an estimated $2 million per year in royalties. However, on September 22, 2015, after two years of litigation, a U.S. District Court […]

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Trademark Registrations may now be Broadened to Account for Evolving Technology

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: September 25th, 2015

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a pilot program to allow amendments to goods/services in trademark registrations that would otherwise be beyond the scope of current specifications. Typically, once a trademark has been registered for particular goods/services, it is not possible to later amend those goods/services beyond the current identification.  However, […]

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Liability for Linking to Copyrighted Material

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: August 26th, 2015

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These days, it is quite easy to provide links to other website’s content from your own.  Generally, linking to another website does not infringe the copyrights of the site.  However, different kinds of linking can give raise to different issues and may expose you to liability for copyright infringement. Deep Link:  A deep link is […]

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5 Tips to Protect Your Trademark

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: July 15th, 2015

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  With the internet and social media, information and content moves so quickly that companies may lose control of their trademarks.  A trademark is what distinguishes your product or services from the competition, but improper uses may cause the mark to become generic, and thus not protectable.  To help avoid the same fate as “aspirin,” […]

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Common Myths About “Fair Use” of Copyrighted Works

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: June 22nd, 2015

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In general, fair use is the copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.   Such uses are done without permission from the copyright owner.  Therefore, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.  If your use qualifies as […]

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether Patent Holders Are Entitled to Royalties After Patents Expire

By: Lauren Kanter-Lawrence, Esq.

Posted: May 20th, 2015

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If a primary purpose of the patent system is to encourage innovation and the disclosure of new ideas, should patent holders receive royalty payments once their patents have expired?  The Supreme Court heard arguments on this question on March 31, 2015. The case stems from a Spiderman string-shooting toy for which Stephen Kimble obtained a […]

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Trademark Trolls Overseas

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: April 20th, 2015

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A U.S. trademark registration allows companies to leverage their brand and prevent others from using their name or a confusingly similar name in the U.S.  However, even if a trademark is protected in the U.S., it is vulnerable to squatters or “trademark trolls” overseas. Because of the global nature of business today, especially with online […]

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ABCs of Protecting Employee-Generated IP

By: Eryn Truong, Esq.

Posted: February 25th, 2015

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Most companies assume that any intellectual property (IP) created by their employees in connection with their job duties automatically become the employer’s property.  This assumption, however, is often incorrect, and can lead to lengthy and costly disputes.  Generally, an employer’s right to IP created by an employee depends on the circumstances of the employee’s hire […]

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